tv MSNBC News Live MSNBC December 20, 2010 11:00am-12:00pm EST
compromiser? another major victory for president obama, and he may not be done yet. first, of course, he compromised to get the tax cut bill passed. now it's the repeal of don't ask, don't tell. >> we don't care who you love, as long as you love your country. >> for all of us in the senate, this is one of the days where we feel privileged to be here because we righted a wrong. >> if you're keeping score, the democrats have not just don't ask, don't tell, but they also, in a surprise, got that food safety bill passed. the gop blocked the dream act. but there's still hope for the 9/11 health bill and the s.t.a.r.t. treaty. let's bring in our company, former congressman, rick lazhal roll call's emily heil. this is a sign they can compromise. a good thing as we look ahead to a new congress in 2011 or will the gloves come off because the
republicans have control of the house? >> a sign that obama's staff is urging him effectively to find the middle ground and compromise with republicans. they've been looking at the clinton model what happened after 1994 elections and into the 199235 cycle consider clinton moved from a disastrous health care bill to having a number of different, important victories from welfare reform to passage of different tax wry forms. and this is a model i think they're look at now, can they find middle ground and be seen as a successful, effective presidency? it saved, in my view, clinton's presidency to have republicans in control of the house and the senate. republicans only have control of the house this cycle. seems as though obama now is accepting reality, looking for common ground and is focused on getting results. >> emily, more republicans they have been perceiveded by democrats as the party of no. is this a sign that they feel
like they have to do something, are they under pressure do something, or again does it all change when the new congress comes in? >> and certainly will change when the new congress comes in. you're going to see a thinner majority held by democrats in the senate and more conservative republicans holding these seats. you have a couple of tea partiers comes to the senate. that will change the dynamics. again, we're not clear, i don't think republican leaders are clear, on just how far these tea party candidates, and now office holders, are going to go. what they're willing to go along with, how they're going to play ball here in washington. things could be very different january 3rd, when the new congress comes in. >> does it make it tougher? do they look more obstructist than if things change given the fact, look at don't ask, don't tell, 80% of the american people wanted those happen. >> yeah, i think you'll see, in fact, there won't be as much
stalemate as people may be thinking about right now. they will find middle ground. president obama will want successes and the congressional leadership will want to have some successes. it is true, however, there will be a group of members of congress that will be fine with saying no, they felt like they were being sent to washington to stop the excesses of the left of nancy pelosi, of the obama administration, and they reflect the public will, and their mandate when they say, no, no more spending, no more excesses, no more alerts to left, we need to find many cases not just the center but the right solution. >> let me play what joe biden had to say about don't ask, don't tell on "meet the press." >> the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, the secretary of the defense, the vast majority of the american people say, whether you are gay or straight, does not affect whether you can shoot straight or whether you can speak erdo.
>> my question, galina is, is this a victory for compromise? is it a victory for the strategy of the white house, or is it really just an indication of a cultural shift. >> i think it's a cultural shift. 80% of the american people were in favor of this, the pentagon supported the repeal. there was a mass public support and was voted on as a standalone bill and i think that was important because you could see whose name on which side of this vote, and the history books are going to note that and i think that made republica say, i don't want to be on the wrong side of this issue when there is such an overwhelming majority of support for it. >> emily, let's look ahead and give us the closing hours of this lame duck session, which i think for the good has turned out not to be so lame. give me a percentage chance for s.t.a.r.t. and for the 9/11 responders bill. >> they're going to file cloture on the s.t.a.r.t. bill, which means they're cutting off debate. it look like they will have the
votes for that, though it's not clear about the votes needed to ratify this treaty. it's looking more likely but i don't do odds so well, we'll just have to see where that plays out. look like midweek adjournment and going to be a merrier christmas for the white house than maybe it looked just a month or so ago. >> it is amazing how things have changed. emily, thanks to you. rick and galina, you'll be back with me. the weather story couldn't be timed any worse with the holiday coming up. rain and snow causing major headaches. not just for travelers here at home but also in europe. record rainfall in california continues today. mudslides, flash floodings possible, snow and freezing temperatures causing chaos on european roads and airports. the weather channel meteorologist mike seidel is following this story. >> reporter: weather hit california hard, days of downpours in the hollywood hills
caused flash flooding and fear of mudslides. it may be the wettest weather the system region has seen in more than a decade and it's not over yet. heavier rain is on the way. >> they say it's going on for days and days. >> reporter: the weather's been kinder to california ski resorts. they're expecting as much as 12 feet of snow. the midwest is bracing for more snow, even as the showdown between the xhaug bechicago bea the minnesota vikings take place, played at the university of minnesota after the blizzard damaged the metro zone. across europe, freezing temperatures and snow caused travel chaos. london was blanketed, causing heathrow airport to shut down. >> my gram passed away i won't be getting back states for her funeral. >> reporter: roads have been paralyzed by blizzards. motorists trapped in vehicles for hours, and cars abandoned in germany and italy. northern ireland has seen its heaviest snowfall in 25 years. and temperatures plummeted to 5 degrees in scotland. and in paris, there were crushed
lady gaga fans after her concert was canceled because her equipment couldn't make it through snow-covered roads. chris, they carted out 3400 tons of snow from the stadium and now, as you can see, it's snowing again. we're expecting several more inches before kick-off between the vikings and the bears here at stadium. >> what's the temperature going to be at kick-off? what should people be wearing? >> reporter: layers. >> lots and lots of layers. >> reporter: it's going to be 25 degrees. one of the warmest days they have had in a while. that is their average high for december 20th. not much of a windchill. it's all good, considering it is minnesota here a few day before christmas. >> let me ask you about the week ahead. people taking to the roads and the rails, people flying. is this going to continue to disrupt holiday travel plans? >> well, if you're on the west coast, the snow and rain will continue through tuesday and wednesday. then it will back off before
christmas eve and christmas day. our concern right now is both models are indicating a coastal storm coming in saturday and sunday. so that would be beyond your trek to, say, grandmother's house or friends and neighbors' house christmas eve and christmas day. saturday and sunday watch the east coast for a potential snowstorm. so that could impact travel. i know the day after christmas, sunday 26th, going to be a busy day at the airports. we'll see how it shakes out. it's only monday. we've got a while to watch that. london police have uncovered a major, new terrorism plot in the uk. authorities say 12 men, as young as 17, were arrested in three cities in a large national counterterrorism operation. police are searching the suspects' homes for more evidence. in october, you may recall, the u.s. state department issued a travel alert for europe saying groups linked to al qaeda could be planning attacks. 23-year-old american amanda
knox serving a 26-year prison sentence in italy getting surprising good news that could give her another chance at freedom. then, with terror suspects captured in the uk and news last week of alleged holiday plots from al qaeda, how prepared are we? richard lui has more on that. >> chris, yeah, what we are going to talk about is the president's counterterrorism adviser, response to the threats you brought up, el telling us how prepared the u.s. is during the holidays, plus what the fbi is telling local authorities. [ female announcer ] water was meant to be perfect. crisp, clear, untouched. that's why there's brita, to make the water we drink, taste a little more, perfect. reduce lead and other impurities with the advanced filtration system of brita.
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multiple time but was survived by playing dead. nbc's martin fletcher is following this story from london. what do we know what happened and who might have done this? >> a massive hamanhunt under wa focusing on the towns and woods and caves. police won't comment on the progress but the tale told by the survivor of the brutal attack is terrifying. it began as a sabbath hike. two men speaking arabic asked her water. she warned her friend to be careful, the two men attacked them, tied their hands behind their back, stabbed the friend, an american tourist, to death. the survivor escaped by pretending to be dead, stabbed a dozen times. as she lay still, pretending to be dead, she heard her friend crying and dying. when the attackers left, she crawled away for help. the woman killed, in her
mid-40s, evangelical christian. a close friend said she was a wonderful, caring and godly person. no news whether the israeli police have a firm lead or not. they're not saying at this time. >> they don't know whether it's politically motivated or the women might have been in the wrong place at the wrong time? >> reporter: it -- they don't know that, but what they said the sense is, because no organization claimed responsibility, the sense is maybe this is two guys in the woods, saw an opportunity to attack people who they believed were jews, israelis and took that opportunity. they ended up killing an american christian and wounding a british crittian. what an unexpected turn of events for amanda knox. a truly surprising legal victory for the 23-year-old convicted murderer that could give her a chance at freedom. an italian appeals court over the weekend granted a full review of the dna evidence used to find her guilty of killing
meredith kercher. paul cowan, a criminal and civil attorney. lawrence kobilinski at the forensic science department at john jay college. what happens next, paul? >> well, this is really a big victory for amanda knox right now because of the court has said two independent experts are going to be appointed with they've been charged with reviewing critical dna evidence in the case. if they find that that dna evidence was contaminated and maybe had an adverse impact on the verdict, she might get herself a new trial. so this is a big development in the case. >> lawrence, what will they be doing, how difficult is it? how complicated is it? >> well, first of all, i've actually seen the dna evidence on the case, and i must say it appears that the profiler is a partial one, there are some that a alleles below threshold.
>> in english. >> in the united states some of the genes might not have been called. in other words, the statistical significance might have been far lower than what they declared in italy. >> what you're saying is that the matches essentially that would indicate it's her dna don't reach a level that would be considered significant in the united states? >> i believe that's the case. and again, every country has different procedures and protocols and standards. but dna is dna. if they retest the evidence, as they say they will, they will do some slight differences in the procedure that up the sensitivity of the test and then we'll know for sure one way or the other. >> how quickly could we get this information in. >> as quickly as a week or two, that's all it takes. >> obviously, amanda knox, her family, lawyers are hoping that this shows it was contaminated or that the matches are much lower than would be considered, you know, enough to convict somebody. if that's the case, what
happens? >> well, the italians could order a new trial in the case, if they thought the evidence was important enough. but i want to temper the optimism of the knox family with one thing. we're talking about one piece of dna that was on a bra strap of the victim, and that was in fact sollecito's dna not amanda knox. >> her former boyfriend. >> there was other dna linking her to the scene on what the italians say was the murder weapon. that's unchallenged, that that was in fact her dna. now she says she use the to be at her boyfriend's apartment and that's how it would have gotten on the knife. and there's lots of other circumstantial evidence that the italians relied on proving that her alibi was false and a burglary was staged. she could still remaining in prison for a long time. >> we want to talk you about the emilia earhart case which reemerged. could a 70-year-old mystery
finally be over? new evidence that emilia earhart may have finally been found. time for the "your business" entrepreneur of the week. brian jones loved the holiday movie "a christmas story." after licensing the rights he started selling versions of the film's iconic leg lamp. and he used the profits to turn the cleveland house where the movie was filmed into a museum. for more, watch "your business" sunday mornings at 7:30 on msnbc. oohhh...my back. [ ding ] [ in korean ] how may i help you? do you have something for pain? oh, bayer aspirin? oh, no, no, no... i'm not having a heart attack. it's my back. trust me. it works great for pain. [ male announcer ] nothing's proven to relieve pain better than extra strength bayer aspirin. it rushes relief to the site of pain. no matter where you're hurting. thanks for the tip. [ male announcer ] for powerful pain relief, use bayer aspirin. and to fight pain and fatigue in the morning,
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one of most talked about, written about, speculated about mysteries could be on the verge of being solved. amelia earhart vanished along with her navigator in 1937 while trying to make that round the world flight. now, three bone fragments have turneded up on an island in the south pacific, and they're about to get dna tested. professor lawrence koeb il lynn ski is back with us. rick gillespie, found somewhere director of aircraft recovery which led this expedition. unbelievable headline, uninha t uninhabited island and the bones aren't the only thing you found, right? >> by no means, it's not like we went to a random island and
found bones and thought they might be amelia earhart's. we've been chasing this for 22 yearses. these bones were found at an archaeological site where we've found -- where there was a castaway skeleton found in 1940 thought to be earhart's and we're we found artifacts that speak of an american woman of the 1930s. yeah, we have reason to think that this is worth investigating. >> what is it about this particular location that would lead you to believe it could be amelia earhart? >> this is where the navy initially thought she ended up. when she disappeared the last radio transmission the coast guard heard, she was on a navigational line if she was doing what she said she was doing, could have taken her to his island and the days following her disappearance, there were many radio distress calls heard that were credible and there were radio bearings
taken on those signals that cross near this island. that's why the navy sent a battleship to look at this island from the air with its airplanes, took them a week to get there. it's 2000 miles from ha stwand saw signs that shouldn't have been there, recent habitation on an island that was uninhabited since 1892. they didn't know that. no one look ford earhart there again but three years late air british colonial service officer found the skeleton of a female castaway. >> now three fairly small pieces of bone, lawrence. what are the chances they could be used to find out if this is amelia earhart. >> i think the chances are excellent. the exnology's gotten so good nowadays that we can go back and do 30, 40-year-old cases on skeletal remains. more importantly, we can do neanderthals.
there's no doubt in my mind with one gram of pulverized skeletal powder they will be able to get the dna profile and they already have a maternal relative, so they will be able to say one way or the other. >> can they date it, as well? >> no, that's a problem. they will not be able to date it. i think we all can guess about the date. she was declared dead in '39. you know the likelihood is that if she died she died soon after crash landing on the island. >> so, rick, if you're a betting man and obviously one with more knowledge about this case than almost anybody else, how confident are you that these are the remains of amelia earhart? >> as far as my confidence that these particular bones are the remains of amelia earhart, that's going to depend on the work that the laboratory is doing. how confident am i that we have found the place where she lived and died, i'm there, and i've been there for a while.
we need to go back and find the remains of the airplane which we think are in the deep water off the west end of the island at the base of the reef slope. >> absolutely fascinating. rick, thanks so much. lawyer r lawrence, thanks for sticking around. she doesn't exactly come from royal stock but a big debate is brewing whether kate middleton is truly a commoner. breaking news here on "jansing & company" -- levi johnston's got a new girlfriend. we've got all covered. [ female announcer ] water was meant to be perfect. crisp, clear, untouched. that's why there's brita, to make the water we drink, taste a little more, perfect. reduce lead and other impurities with the advanced filtration system of brita.
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america series details a network fbi homeland security, and military investigators are collect information on american citizens. it's the time of year for celebration and for safety, richard lui is here with more on that. >> with all of that happening at the moment, there's a lot of concern, again, about terror attacks here in the united states. of course we can't forget last week's report of al qaeda plotting holiday attacks against u.s. citizens that we were reporting. president obama's counter terrorism adviser spoke about this on friday saying they work 24/7 monitoring such threats. take a listen. >> the holiday season is a continuation of that 24/7 attention. if anything, we step it up during that time because of the heightened volume of travel. but at this point, i'm feeling good that we have the appropriate resources in place. >> okay. the fbi and homeland security department also released an alert to local authorities just last week saying this, quote,
al qaeda and other terrorist groups continue to seek innovative ways to conduct attacks and circumvent security procedureses, and we remain concerned that the holiday season provides attractive opportunities for terrorists to target the homeland. the holidays, as we think about it, have been when we've seen innovative attempts, as was said, the printer cartridges two months ago shipped via parcel companies with wires coming out of them. that is one thing we saw changed cargo shipping rules. richard reid, who in the december holiday month in 2001, unsuccessfully tried to blow up a plane by lighting his shoe on fire. december 25, 2009, of course that marks the one-year anniversary of the underwear bomber, this year, when we hit december 25th. as a result in part, full body scanners and new pat-down procedures implemented. brennan remembers last year, in fact, getting a call as he was cooking his christmas dinner when he got that call about the
underwear case. but, chris, though there is concern this year, he says they always stay on guard and are particularly vigilant this year around. that's the response so far. other news to get you caught up on now. fight to get help for 9/11 heroes is picking up steam in washington and new york. at a news conference this morning, michael bloomberg said passing the 9/11 health bill is not about money but saving lives. >> caring for the men and women who rushed to our defense on that dark day and in the days that followed is nothing less than a national duty. america is too great a country to shirk this duty. >> new york senator kristin gillibrand says the bill to provide health care for september 11st first responds does have enough votes to pass. police outside new york city are waiting for results from testing of those four bodies found along the long island shore. reports say the medical examiner will need time to test all bodies left at oak beach over a year and a half period.
police are advising residents to be calm, don't be afraid of a possible serial killer roaming suffolk county neighborhoods. big pet food recall. it's from the kroger company. recalling select bags of pet pride cat and kitten food, old yeller chunk dog food, and kroger value chunk dog and cat food. tonight, something that hasn't happened in more than 400 years. a total lunar eclipse coinciding with the winter solstice. the moon will be in the earth's shadow but refracted light will give it a beautiful, red herb glow. you may not be invited to the wedding of the century, at the very least you can dine on some of the same royal china as prince william and pride-to-be kate middleton. this is their official souvenir wedding chin three pieces, a plate, a couple, a pillbox, all approved by the royal couple.
stephanie gosk checked it out. >> reporter: at more than $50 each, most people won't drink out of these cups. excuse me, tank ards. they should. after the first sip on the edge, two little doves sitting on a wedding ring. ahh. ahh. >> over the weekend, prince william and kate made their first public appearance since announcing their nuptials. is kate really a commoner? let's bring in neil shawn and rick lazio. neil, i'm curious about this. was it the daily mail actually say that kate went from pit to palace because her great, great-grandfather was a coal miner? >> i'm recovering from the crockery. i know what to get you for
christmas. i'll send you some. >> this commoner thing. >> let me explain. i think that kate middleton in order to get this rectified should have gone, who do you think you are? i think what's interesting is that they kind of wanted to make her out to have some royal connection. she really doesn't have that sort of royal connection. not like, say, princess diana did when she knew, certain members of the royal family. as far as she's a commoner, go back anybody's family tree, you're going to track something down. she as much as a commoner, as they like to call her, as anybody else is and the fact she's marrying into royalty. good look to her, really. >> is there still a sort of cast system in the uk that has people talking about it? her family does have money, though, as i understand it, it's self-made they started this business and it's been very successful. i consistently, when he was raiding books about her that
frankly didn't have a lot of income, they consistently called the family middle class, is that shocking for a member of the british royal family to go with someone, heaven forbid, middle class? >> you're right, chris. bottom line is royals marry into royals. in the old days they have coming out balls to meet other member of royal families around europe. that doesn't happen now. remember he met this girl at university. her parents were rich enough to send her there. it's not cheap. it's quite expensive to go. really the bottom line is that he has broken away with tradition as such. but she is middle class. she's comfortably off. she's not living under the subway. >> nobody's so worried about that. so i mean, this is supposedly this wedding not just the hottest tick net town but the hottest ticket in the world. the past two royal weddings, american presidents got invited. there's word, rick, that the obamas are going to be left off the list. >> looks like it.
>> as a former member of congress, are you shocked and dismayed we're being dissed by the royal family? >> think about the brits, right, it's reagan, thatcher, bush even clinton, and tony blair, this close relationship. even with the queen, maybe it was the ipod gift, i don't know. >> that's right. when barack obama went, he gave her a gift of an ipod. >> maybe it was that mr. he could have done better, you're saying? >> maybe it was the cds that didn't work over there, you know, gifts. whatever it is, it does seem like it's a snub honestly. maybe a reflection of where things are right now between the two governments. >> i think it reflects that william and katharine are a modern couple. >> listen to you calling her catherine elevating her already. >> this is a couple who announced engagement on twitter. they have signaled they're going to do things didn'tly than previous royal couples and deciding who gets to come to their wedding is another way they're choosing to assert themselves.
>> is it true, are the obamas not going to get invited? >> i love your explanations. let me tell you the royal protocol explanation. bottom line is this, that prince william and kate, they do have a say in their invite list, but normally what happens, in the case of prince charles, remember, when he married diana, he was next in line in the throne. william is one down from that he doesn't have that prerogative. the final list does go to the queen, she will decide who and what he should invite to the wedding. they're not being snubbed. final invite have not been sent out. i'm guessing maybe the dvds weren't the best thing. >> the obamas better send a nice christmas gift. >> neil shawn, thank you very much, rick, galina. i know it's not breaking news, there is word today that levi johnston, bristol palin's former fiance, has a new girlfriend.
guess who broke it? politico's patrick gavin. are you kidding me? as if, as if we couldn't have a holiday happiness, we have to hear this about levi? i hope for those two kids to get back together, honestly. >> it's a happy story. finally lease got love, we hope, after a tumultuous relationship with bristol. i think there's no way, no way, that he and bristol get back together. that is a closed door forever and ever. >> over sarah palin's dead body, i think. what mother can't relate to that, i mean given, frankly, his behavior. he is the father of bristol palin's 2-year-old son trip. bristol i understand said i have to be happy for levi's new relationship because it sounds like his new girlfriend is influencing him spend time with trip. do you know anything about this? >> it's interesting, she says in the interview that he has, i guess, reached out to hang out with his child in five months
which is a very long time. i guess that his new girl friend is actually expressed an eagerness that he do that about from bristol's perspective, it's great. on his girl friend's facebook page she has antlers on the wall. she would be sarah palin-approved. >> actual picture of the kiss they were kissing under antlers. >> don't we all? isn't that the most romantic thing you can possibly think about? >> brought tears to my eyes. do that double screen with levi johnston and patrick gavin. i think there's a little bit of separated at birth going on there. look at these two. >> i am definitely not play girl quality, i promise you that. i'm not "playgirl" quality, i assure you that. >> we weren't going there. >> i'm not getting naked in a shower anytime soon. >> thank you, patrick, for sharing withus. >> as we go to break, take a
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the motion is not agreed to. >> that was the sound of a dream dying when the immigration measure that would provide a path to citizenship for young, illegal immigrants failed to pass the senate. >> my message to these young people is, never fear, we are not going anywhere. we're going to fight because this is the right thing to do. >> joining me now, congresswoman loretta sanchez. good morning. congresswoman, you heard barbara boxer, she said it wasn't over yet. with a republican majority. coming in on your side in the
house, do you think this is dead? >> we'll tee it up again. in the house it only comes forward if the majority leader wants it to come, and i'm sure they don't. i mean, i think there will be less votes, es exsspecially in house of representatives next time around. even the wider issue, there are so many people and so many issues with respect to immigration and we have to reform our entire immigration laws. and if we do that, these young people will have an opportunity to shine here in the united states. >> so where do you think you go from here ? does the dream act try to get reser wrecked? do you put that aside and look at comprehensive immigration reform? >> well i think that it really depends on whether there's a bill introduced soon. if not, whether the dream act
will be reintroduced in congress soon. either way, we know that we want to go for the best route possible, ooen either the dream act as first step towards reform or an entire cir packet. we want to make sure the immigrant community isn't kept waiting like it's been waiting for so long all of these years. >> where were you when i don't know if you were watching c-span and saw it happen live or when you heard that it was over with, what within through your mind? >> i was with my friends, we've been fasting outside john mccain's office near phoenix for the past 19 days. we were outside of his office watching c-span online and we saw the votes, you know, failed to go through. >> congresswoman, is thisfailur by the white house? a record number of deportations
and part of the thinking was it would be a show to the republicans that this was an administration that was serious about stopping some of the dangers at the border and the pay-off would be the dream act? do you think that they were naive about that? >> well, first of all, i mean, the law's the law. and that's the law of the land. i don't like it. but certainly our administration has to to, in defense of them to do their job. and so we saw this under bush. we saw this under president obama. and we continue to tell them we need to address this issue. so we've done deportations. we have done for theification of the border, which is what the republicans said they wanted to see before they would sit down seriously at the table and allow us to get paperwork for people who have been in this country who are a good thing for america, and future visa program for people to come to work when we need more workers.
obviously, it's pretty apparent now they were lying. they really don't care about addressing this very important family values issue, which is that they are tearing family as part when one family member is born here or one family member has paperwork and the mother doesn't and she's being deported and the family's being torn apart. ghi this is about family values and security, and we've addressed that. this is about our economy. we need people in this country. we are an aging nation. this business basic family values. and it's obvious now that the republicans were just lying to us. >> emily from "roll call," what's the sense? was this a backlash over the democrats forcing a vote on don't ask, don't tell? >> i don't necessarily think those two were linged in that way, though they have a civil rights baseline between them.
but i think these were two separate things, and you saw that in voting patterns. you know, there are only three republicans who voted for the dream act. and so that was really, you know, you did have a number of democrats who voted against it, too, five of them. but it was a republican-led opposition to this. >> where does the president go now with his immigration strategy, is it clear? >> no, it's not. it's going to be very difficult. this was last, best chance to get immigration reform done in a way that democrats, liberals in particular, would agree with. the congressional majority, particularly in the house, obviously, they're -- it's a republican leadership there, and a very much more conservative republican majority. so it's going to be very difficult to get anything through the house, in particular, that democrats are going to like. this in was the last best chance. bear in mind the dream act was really sort of a pale substitute for larger, more comprehensive immigration reform that liberals
wanted, too. this was already a pale substitute for a larger package and republicans wouldn't let that through, and so i think things only get more difficult next year. one thing i want to know note is having this young aactivist her impressed with his use of the congressional lingo and the activists kept up with the legislation as it went through congress, talking about checking c-span online. i think it probably wouldn't have gotten this far without people like him and that's just a really interesting thing to watch, how involved and how savvy these young people are. >> i'm happy to see young people involved, period. celso, thank you. emily, congresswoman sanchez, a pleasure to have you on. do you need an excuse to do your last-minute shopping from the comforts of your home? we have online deals if you want to avoid heading out into this. [ male announcer ] this is steven, a busy man.
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americans are loosening their money clips this holiday season, especially on the web. a new report by comscore shows yieb spending is norman $27 billion, a 12% jump from last year. that's good news for the ceo and founder of overstock.com. good morning. >> good morning, great to be here. >> what's selling this holiday season? >> well, what we're seeing is a, on the one hand, affluent shoppers shifting back to sort of higher-end luxury items. but the middle-income people and we do a lot of segregation, really seemed to be sitting on their wallets. i think sales for the industry, have been a bit soft during december than anyone expected and even there, where most shoppers are coming in and
buying things they're not so flashy things. more like home, carpets and furniture and things for the home, rather than a luxury or flashy lucksy item and that's the shift we saw. >> does that mean that online retailers like you and others are likely to be slashing prices even more to get things moving over the next several days? >> there's been a lot of slashing of prices this december. i think that something happened right after thanksgiving. i don't know what it is. but with us and from what we can tell, folks like comscore and such, suggest that december has gotten quite a bit softer than people suggested. a lot of people are cutting prices. our prices -- a lot of people are cutting prices and giving away big coupons. we already think we have the best prices so we decided not to get in that spiral which meant that our growth compressed but it still is more profitable growth than just everybody slicing each other's throat and taking part in that.
>> when you look at the overall numbers which is that sales are up 12%, how much of that is driven, do you think, by what i hear a lot of people talking about, free shipping, one of the reasons thing people went to stores in the first place is it can get very expensive when you do all your shopping online. free shipping can be a really big incentive? >> i agree. free shipping is a really strong incentive. people -- it has become accustomed across the industry, people look for it at christmas. our shipping rate say flat $2.95 around christmas but we do do it at christmas as does everybody left. >> well, patrick burn, that's for being here. >> see you tomorrow and every weekday at 10:00 eastern. contessa brewer is here to pick things up. the senate accomplished an awful lot over the weekend but there's men if i of work to be done before they go to their
colorado break. senator mark udall and his take and what happened on saturday, live on msnbc. we saw it on the repeal of "don't ask, don't tell." bumper cars in washington state. the wild weather stretches from kohl coast to coast. if you're looking to dump a gift you don't want, i'm doing to share my tips for how to get away with regifting. if you live for performance, upgrade to castrol edge advanced synthetic oil. with eight times better wear protection than mobil 1. castrol edge. it's more than just oil. it's liquid engineering. crisp, clear, untouched. that's why there's brita, to make the water we drink,
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